A few short years ago, lip balm brands like Chapstick and Burt’s Bees pretty much dominated the market. That is, until celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian were seen using spheres of EOS lip balm. But how did this success occur so quickly?
Sanjiv Mehra and Jonathan Teller, cofounders of the EOS brand, share that is wasn’t easy getting the product into retail locations. Most drug stores and grocery locations thought that customers would be willing to try something new, and would stick with lip balm brands they were used to. Mehra also shares that several male consumers stated that they didn’t understand EOS products, presumably because the the noticeable circular shape of the product. It’s pretty logical that men didn’t readily get what EOS balm was all about, since the products were created with women in mind.
Eventually, the founders of EOS were able to schedule a meeting with a female buyer for Walgreens. She loved the products. EOS was able to land its first account, and after the product launch Target and Walmart decided to come on board as well.
Now, the EOS team had to figure out how to be a competitive force when compared to other leaders in the industry. The founders invested in their own equipment, and went to trade shows to find engineers to assist them in this venture.
Their hard work has definitely paid off. In just over seven years, EOS has become a household name. EOS is selling about 1 million lip balms each week! There have even been a few replicas of the products by brands like Blistex, who have created a lip balm that is similar in shape to EOS. Sephora, Walgreens and Lucky Vitamin even have their own versions of the sphere-shaped lip balm.
Teller and Mehra share that the major key to their success is having the discipline required to work for a large company and the creativity that is needed to be a successful entrepreneur. They attribute their unique business approach to the current and projected success of one of the biggest lip balm companies in the industry.